Adams Road near Reid’s corner in Kelowna, completely underwater, May 6, 2017. (File)

Okanagan faces increased temperatures, flooding: climate projections report

Report suggests more fires, water shortages, smoke days, spring flooding

A climate projection report is anticipating significant changes to Okanagan weather conditions over the next few decades.

The report, compiled by the regional districts of the North Okanagan, Central Okanagan and Okanagan-Similkameen in partnership with Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium and Pinna Sustainability, outlines climate projections for 2050 and 2080 to assist regional planners to prepare for future climate events.

“There is a need to plan for more intense and hotter fires, increasing water shortages, more smoke days, and a greater likelihood of spring flooding. These changes will have serious consequences on ecosystems, communities, and the economy,” reads part of the report.

Some of the key findings of the report are as follows:

  • Warmer temperatures year-round
  • Summers will be considerably hotter
  • Increased duration of growing season
  • Warmer winter temperatures
  • Increased precipitation across all seasons except summer
  • Summer is expected to remain the driest season, and become drier
  • Shifting seasons

Summers are projected to get hotter by the later part of the century, with the valley bottoms, where the majority of the population lives, seeing nearly triple the number of days with temperatures at or over 30 C.

Temperatures on the coldest nights are projected to rise in all seasons across the Okanagan. Winter nighttime low temperatures are projected to warm more than other seasons. By the 2050s, there will be 28 per cent fewer frost days.

Increased precipitation is also expected, specifically in autumn and spring. By 2080, the Okanagan could see 17 per cent more rainfall during these seasons.

“This report is one of the most important tools we have in preparing for our future as a region,” said Kevin Acton, chair of the Regional District of North Okanagan. “We need action now, and through this report, we have a clearer idea of what to expect and how to adapt for the longevity of our communities.”

“The modelling projections being completed by the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium will help local governments prepare for a range of possible scenarios,” said Karla Kozakevich, chair of the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen.

“This report will also provide valuable data about the potential environmental and economic challenges impacting the Okanagan in the coming decades.”

Regional District Central Okanagan chair Gail Given, said the report show’s what many already know and it’s time to act.

“We’ve all seen the impact climate change is having on our environment and economy. The Climate Projections Report lays the groundwork for everyone to respond and act in a meaningful way to help mitigate the potential challenges in the years ahead.”

The full report can be accessed on the RDNO website.

READ MORE: Climate protesters stage peaceful protest during Kelowna council meeting

READ MORE: Okanagan faces high flood risk due to above average snowpack


@michaelrdrguez
michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Climate change

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Law enforcement will patrol shuttered campgrounds in Cascades this weekend

Patrols will enforce provincial order requiring all such facilities remain closed during COVID-19

Campfires still permitted in Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen

Restrictions have been implemented elsewhere within valley

Opinion: Thank you, together we can get through

Thanks for staying at home as much as possible, thinking of others as we combat this terrible virus

West Kelowna man charged in relation to cannabis grow robbery in Sicamous

Two suspects remain at large; police believe they left the robbery scene in a white hatchback

COVID-19: Town of Oliver gives residents tax breaks, 50 per cent off first quarter utility fees

Mayor encourages residents to invest money back into the community if possible

VIDEO: B.C. singer creates frontline workers tribute song

Cambree Lovesy’s song saluting those battling COVID-19 draws interest online

Researchers to study whether plasma of recovered patients can treat COVID-19

Plasma is the liquid portion of the blood that contains the antibodies that protect against illness

Unemployment up, Kelowna loses 2,000 jobs in March: StatCan

March unemployment rate 5.9 per cent, highest in Kelowna since January 2018

Peachland residents living in lockdown in central Philippines

Kevin and Gracelyn Bennett have been in the Philippines since December

Kelowna toddler officially cancer-free

Elara Isagawa’s family is thanking the community for their support throughout her treatment

B.C., Alberta health ministers urge public to stay home Easter weekend

Regional politicians, online petition calling for closure of provincial border to non-essential traffic

Summerland parks remain open for passive use

Users urged to maintain physical distancing to slow spread of COVID-19

Okanagan Indian Band asks visitors to ‘stay away’ during COVID-19

Chief and council asks non-residents not to visit OKIB reserve lands during the pandemic

Would-be visitors to Shuswap over the long weekend asked to stay home

Regional district follows provincial health officer’s lead in telling citizens to stay put this Easter

Most Read